Workers struck at hundreds of workplaces across Brazil on Thursday of last week. Thousands marched in the main cities of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.
A spirited demonstration of 5,000 blocked the roads around Sao Paolo, and Brazil’s two biggest ports were shut for the day.
The protests were much smaller than last month’s movement against public transport fare hikes.
Union leaders had backed out of promises to mobilise strikes on the metro system that would have paralysed the main cities.
And the government is doing all it can to divert the movement into focusing on reform of the corrupt political system.
But under pressure from below, unions have promised a larger day of strikes on 30 August.
Workers in Chile joined a general strike on the same day as the mass strikes in Brazil.
Up to 200,000 marched in the capital Santiago.